Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) are obviously testing the water with the public before submitting their planning application for a new small boat facility in the Custom House Quay basin.

With Christmas coming up and people concentrating on the festive season FHC must be hoping their planning application will slip gently under the radar.

Even without publishing a diagram of the pontoon system FHC said: “The proposed plans will improve the small boat facilities we are able to offer our customers. The pontoon development will provide nearly 50 new berths for vessels up to 6m long and will provide an improved pick up and drop off point in the Basin.

These plans are in line with our objectives to continually improve our leisure facilities, providing more access and more choice for our customers, whilst enhancing facilities, safety and significantly increasing berthing capacity to help meet customer demand.”

It is envisaged that FHC will run a single pontoon right down the middle of the basin. This will compromise navigation to and from the basin for outhaul owners. Larger fishing boats will not be able to berth on the basin quaysides. That is why I proposed a smaller scheme that will provide a smaller facility whilst preserving the views and historical ambience of the quayside.

The commissioners are jumping the gun somewhat in their Press Release by saying “ We plan to install the pontoons over the winter months with a view to having them ready in time for the new boating season in April 2017.

There will be two berth types, each available on a 12 month contract;

• For 2m wide berths, the price will be £900 per annum, or £79 per month.

For 2.5m wide berths, the price will be £1,000 per annum, or £88 per month.